Businesses get additional three months to file accounts

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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced a three-month extension period to file accounts with Companies House in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Businesses can apply for the extension from today (25 March) to avoid penalties for late filing. There are approximately 4.3 million businesses on the Companies House register and companies that file annual accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We have outlined a business support package on an unprecedented scale, backing companies and their employees through these challenging times.

“But it is important that our support is not limited to financial assistance. We are determined to help businesses in any way we can, so that they can focus all their efforts on dealing with the impact of Coronavirus, and this new offer of a 3 month extension for filing accounts is part of that.”

Application for the extension can be made through a fast-tracked online system, and the government said those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension.

Responding, James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said: “Extending the deadline for filing accounts is a welcome step that will free up retailers’ time to get on with keeping their stores stocked and their communities fed. We encourage all retailers who are concerned about filing accounts to apply for this extension.”

Guidance on applying for an extension can be found here.